The MRI Adventure.

This is how my morning began out the front window...

It all began about 5:30 in the morning.  I gave the little guy the blast of the nebulizer for his asthma while he slept.  I stroked his hair and looked at him a little differently this morning.  It was the morning of the MRI of his brain.

Sleeping Beauty.

The MRI facility is located a little over 40 miles from our house.  I did not want to get my son up too early.  He was forbidden from having anything to eat or drink for 12 hours before the anesthesia.  I did not want him to wake up looking for food and water, his usual routine.

I usually give the little guy his oral medications first thing in the morning.  The medications had to be delayed until after the MRI.  I was now stripping layers of protection from the nitroglycerin that ignites the meltdown kid.

I had never been to the MRI place.  The numbers identifying the building were huge – and, unmistakably, over a parking garage.  I have not heard many parents of ASD kids talk about parking garages.  My son hates any enclosed space over our vehicle.  This means tunnels, going under an overpass of any length, car washes, and parking garages.  In we went – peel away another layer of protection around the nitroglycerin kid.

Into the main entrance we headed.  We had to take the elevator down to get to where we had to go.  Unacceptable.  Elevators, don’t you know, are for going up. The rest of the packing around my nitroglycerin kid just fell away.  Now, he only needed the slightest jarring to explode.

Inside the elevator we went.  The buttons were on the side opposite where we entered.  Why?  Because it was a double-sided elevator that headed up to the rest of the parking garage and down – the other opening to the MRI building.  Not good.  At all.

As we exited, my son began to melt as I signed in.  “Wanna push the button.  Mommy to come.  Push the buttons.  Push the buttons.  Go up!  Up the elevator!! Wanna go up!!  WANNA GO UP!! PUSH THE BUTTON!!  MOMMY TO COME!”

[As a side note, while my husband was there when my son went under anesthesia and came out, we rode in separate cars because he had to do something work-related before coming down.  Thus, all the joys of the descent into the explosion were handled solo.]

I listened to the little guy at full volume – no lung problem today-  while he screamed to go in the elevator.  At the same time, the woman checking us in gave me three, double-sided forms to fill out and return to her.  The waiting room was filled with about 50 people.  We headed to the very back of the room and sat in a corner where there were a couple rows of open chairs.

To top it all off, a nurse came up, poured globs of cream on each of my son’s hands and taped them with clear bandages.  The cream was to numb the area for insertion of the IV line.  If Kelly at Unplanned Trip to Holland, had not told me about this I would not have understood.  Unfortunately, Tootles did not read Kelly’s comment, and I forgot to pass it on.  He freaked and tried to take them off.  Luckily, he listened when I told him they were special globs of cream and that I wished I had some.

Trying to get off the taped on cream...

All eyes were upon me and my screaming, yelling five year old child, with tears streaming down his cheeks, demanding I take him back to the elevator.  The room was filled.  Although they watched, no one really gave me the evil eye.  Strange that, I thought.

When the Daddy finally arrived, he took our son to the elevator.  I could hear them at the other end of the building and one floor up.  Well now, that might be an exaggeration.  I could really only hear my son…

I finished letting the MRI facility know that my son has never had any metal shrapnel or metal implants in his body and turned in the forms while the hubs had him occupied.  Then?  They gave me three more pages to fill out…

I just finished the paperwork when my husband came back over, my son still in low key eruption mode.  I took him back to the elevator.  We walked up a staircase, got in the elevator, took it up, took it back down, stared at the buttons and talked about the shape and color of the buttons and did the same twice more.  He was satisfied.  We went back to our corner and he played on his iPad.

An hour later, I wondered if, during my son’s earlier “activity”, we missed his name being called.  This is because, when I looked up, after an hour, I realized we were just about the last family waiting.  We had a 9:30 a.m. appointment.  It was 10:30.

The hubs found out that they were running 45-60 minutes late.  I was close to a meltdown of my own by this point.  Finally, around 11:30,  the MRI was begun.

Pre-MRI gown.

The loose clothing was useless because they put him in a gown.  They had trouble inserting the IV and had to switch hands.  There was a lot of blood.  He was yelling and then, quicker than you could snap your fingers, he was out.  And thanks again to Kelly and to Jen in Illinois, for warning me about the quick way they fall asleep under the anesthesia and how scary it is.  Without that warning, I might’ve gone limp myself.  My husband almost did.  He was quietly upset throughout.

I cried in the waiting room.  I tweeted.  You responded with your well wishes and support.  (Thanks to Jen T., Jim, Blue, Dixie, Caroline, Lana and Julie Coryell!)

When it was over, the nurse brought us back into the prep room while he slept.  They let him sleep for about 15 minutes because they said it helps with nausea to get the medication chewed up by his liver, as she put it.

My sweet child, after the MRI.

When she finally woke him up, he was a 52 pound fighting, limp, yelling noodle.  He was groggy and he wanted to head right back out to the elevator and get out of that place.  He struggled to get away from everyone but could not stand up or understand that he could not stand walk or even sit up successfully.  The anesthesiology nurse was hesitant to let us go.  I told her it was more dangerous to try and keep us in there.  He kept doing the limp noodle and yelling.

My husband carried him out to the car, placed him in there, yelling like an angry drunk (the kid – not the hubs!), and we left.  He continued to yell and scream in his groggy way for about a half hour.  Then he got quiet.

Next, he asked for a taco.  There was no barf.  All was well again with the world.


About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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16 Responses to The MRI Adventure.

  1. blogginglily says:

    Your blog highlights yet again a recurring source of stress and frustration for me. “Then? They gave me three more pages to fill out…” None of that shit needs to be filled out WHILE YOU ARE THERE. You could fill any and all of it out in advance. Maybe it’s just as simple as saying, “Hey, you know what? I have to be able to address my child’s needs while we’re there. Any and all paperwork has to be sent to me in advance so that I can just turn it in to your and wait.” I rarely think to do that.

  2. Karla (Mom2MissK) says:

    I have to agree with Jim! It was one of the first things I noticed about this post… Why ON EARTH would they ever make an ASD parent fill out forms in a waiting room? Someone really should sue the hospitals over that crap (hint, hint) maybe then they’d get the message!

    But, the worst is over… And now you wait.

    I’m glad T made it through without any significant after-effects and taco sounds like a fine first meal after anesthesia!

  3. Julie says:

    Ugh, I’m so sorry you all had to go through this. For future reference, always ask that forms be mailed to you in advance and ask for the first appointment of the day. You may even want to let them know that your son has autism so that they don’t bump him. Poor kiddo! I hope you get the results soon.

  4. Grace says:

    Eeee-gads, I’m exhausted just reading this. And I’m also craving tacos.

    Jim and Karla nailed it with the stupid form thing. It’s absolutely unbelievable. You spend 30 minutes trying to keep your child in check while filling out paperwork, then the jackoffs don’t read any of it anyway.

    Thank goddess it’s over. Keeping my fingers crossed for good results.

  5. mamafog says:

    Glad you all made it through. Wishing you the best.

  6. Broot says:

    Wow. Just highlights all the things that NTs think is normal but don’t work for everyone. Glad he’s okay. Eagerly awaiting the results!

  7. Lana Rush says:

    Paperwork will be the death of us all. I’m just an echo to what’s been said before – paperwork should be mailed or made available online so you can come with it all filled out. What a timesaver for everyone…..

    T is a trooper – and so are his mom and dad!

    Look forward to hearing the results….

  8. Flannery says:

    Well that sounds like a little family jaunt to hell and back, complete with tacos.

    Sorry it was so rough, but glad it’s over.

  9. Kelly Hafer says:

    Ah, Karen, I am so glad this part is over. I am glad to have offered ANY bit of knowldege going in: especially about the quickness of the “sleep.” Dear Lord, that is scary. We’ve done a couple and it gets better the second time around – hopefully you won’t have a second time, of course. Thankfully, I was still able to give Ted his meds – without which, he clearly would have had the same reaction as Tootles. I am so sorry you all had to go through that.

    Keep us posted on the results – sending prayers and internet ((hugs)) your way.

    PS: I hope Tootles enjoyed the HECK out of that taco.

  10. Teresa says:

    Sometimes I think these procedures are harder on the parents than the kids… don’t get me wrong, they’re plenty hard on the kids.
    When Matthew was about this age he had surgery. The docs were prepared and they knocked him out before starting the IV. Surgery went well but when Matthew woke, boy oh boy, was he mad. They had told us we wouldn’t be allowed in to recovery for at least a half hour but instead they called us back almost right away to comfort him. Fortunately, Matthew then (and even now) finds comfort in soothing words and hugs.
    So glad you got through the test. Hopefully the results will be helpful.

  11. Lizbeth says:

    I”m glad you made it out the other end. And taco’s to boot. Now that’s a good end to a rough day. I’m so glad it’s over for all of you guys. Keep us posted with results if you are wanting to share.

  12. You need a glass (or three) of wine tonight!!!

    Seriously, glad you made it through, one way or the other.

  13. ElizOF says:

    WoW What a day! Thankfully, it ended on a good note… Please keep us informed on what’s going on… Hugs! 😉

  14. Jen says:

    I agree the paperwork is B.S. Thankfully your hubby was with to take T to the elevator. Poor little guy! Hope there was a trip to the toy store along with that taco! And of course some alcohol for the parents later in the evening!

  15. Denise says:

    Wow, so glad the taco was the cure! Let us know how the MRI turns out! And, have a glass of wine for us!

  16. solodialogue says:

    Thank you all for your kind words of support. Friday morning (Pacific time) we get the results. I am a nervous wreck. Praying and bartering and begging for normal results. All I want for Christmas is a clear MRI report. I will make a note of our results here tomorrow. Love to you all. ❤

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